Fruit banned from hospi­tal cafes

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT&ABOUT -

SATIRE: The Nel­son Marl­bor­ough Dis­trict Health Board is plan­ning a wide­spread ban on all fruit in hospi­tal cafes from next year be­cause of their high sugar con­tent.

High sugar fruits such as ba­nanas, ap­ples, grapes, pineap­ples and pears will be first on the scrap heap in Jan­uary, with the rest to fol­low soon af­ter.

Re­cent sci­en­tific stud­ies have re­vealed that fruits are ba­si­cally just wa­tery bags of fruc­tose, or naughty sugar, and should be purged from our di­ets.

The board has been on an an­ti­sugar cru­sade since early last year when it be­came the first health board in New Zealand to im­ple­ment a sugar free drinks pol­icy.

Sugar hater Dr Rob Bea­gle­hole said type two di­a­betes, child­hood obe­sity and tooth de­cay were among the risks of high sugar in­take.

Fruit was the next log­i­cal step in the cam­paign, the den­tal of­fi­cer said.

‘‘Fruit has of­ten been re­ferred to as ‘na­ture’s fast food’, and what an apt de­scrip­tion be­cause it’s not much bet­ter for you.

For years we have been telling our chil­dren ‘an ap­ple a day keeps the doc­tor away’, but re­ally ‘an ap­ple a day plugs your doc­tor’s pay’.’’

Fam­ily mem­bers would have to re­think their gift ideas when vis­it­ing loved ones when the ban was rolled out to all de­part­ments in March, Bea­gle­hole said.

‘‘No more grapes for granny,’’ he said.

Pa­tients would just have to get their five-a-day some other way.

The board would help by pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive to ap­ples and or­anges with pa­tient lunches.

They would have the op­tion of a flo­ret of broc­coli or a bowl of cab­bage with their mid­day sand­wich, he said.

‘‘I think we’ll start see­ing the health ben­e­fits straight away.’’

It would be the first time a health board in New Zealand had banned an en­tire food group.

‘‘Sure fruit is full of fi­bre, vi­ta­mins, min­er­als and an­tiox­i­dants, but a sin­gle ba­nana con­tains around 14 grams of sugar. Do you re­ally want your loved ones ex­posed to that sort of dan­ger?’’

The only fruit Bea­gle­hole al­lowed his chil­dren to eat were lemons, he said. Marl­buri­ans, in par­tic­u­lar, faced a con­stant sugar threat sur­rounded by fatin­duc­ing, teeth-de­stroy­ing grapes, Bea­gle­hole said.

‘‘You couldn’t pay me to move to Marl­bor­ough, it’s a sug­ary time­bomb wait­ing to hap­pen.’’ Bea­gle­hole was hop­ing to have wine banned in the re­gion by the end of 2017, he said.

‘‘It will be hard work but if we can get the right peo­ple on board I think we can make it hap­pen.’’

PHOTO: FILE

Fruits are ba­si­cally just wa­tery bags of fruc­tose, or naughty sugar.

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